I made it!

About a month ago I had IB exams. Everything went smoothly (if you consider staying alive smooth). I can’t wait for July 6th so I can see my final grade. Now that I’ve finished the rest of my classes, I noticed some new followers on this blog. For this reason I’ve decided to make a closing statement.

Thank you to Ms. Fernie, my classmates, and everyone else who helped me along this journey. IB art helped me hone my skills, express myself creatively, and discover new mediums I can practice in the future. Today I still do henna and digital art. I’m not sure that would be the case if I hadn’t gone into this program.

It was hard work; that’s for sure. But I don’t think I’d be the same person I am today without that extra push from IB. For anyone who is considering entering this program, I encourage you to give it a shot and try to make something beautiful out of it.

You’ll learn so much. And although you may forget the nitty gritty of cellular respiration, all of those books you read in English, or how to conjugate that verb in French, you’ll never forget what you learned about yourself.

Thank you to all my followers (classmates and otherwise), and goodbye!


Update on studio pieces

I have two studio pieces on the go right now, one at home, and one at school.

The one at home is my piece in ink. This is what I have so far:

It’s a bit difficult to see, but I messed up in the second photo. I wanted the blue orb (AKA, the soul), to be spotless and clean, but I accidentally got some black india ink on it! Oh well, it’s done now. I should have covered it up before I painted the black strokes. I’ll do that when I start paint the strokes around the face.

The key to this is having patience. If you don’t have patience, you’re going to mess up guaranteed. It’s calming, though, which is the point.

Question: although using ink is classified as a drawing medium, would I be able to say that for this? I want this to be classified as a drawing, but I don’t feel like it really is.

Next up is the one I’m doing in school:

I’m making this by mixing up media in a glue bottle (gloss medium, glue, paint and water), and then spraying it onto the canvas like that. It’s very easy and very quick, and gives just the kind of effect I was looking for.

The point of this is making a painting about everything that is stressing me out right now, trying to illustrate how I feel jumbled and overloaded, bursting at the seams with stuff to do. Any title suggestions?

I’m also planning on doing a clay bust, but I only practiced a bit. It’s a lot more difficult than it looks! But that’s what I said with digital art and I ended up loving that, so hopefully it will get better.

This is something I made while practicing. IMG_2134

Not the most attractive thing ever, but I think it would be easier to form the face with a bigger working area (this was about the size of my hand) and harder clay. The stuff I was working with was quite soft.

Anyway, that’s all!

Classic or Contemporary?

art then, art now


In class today we compared classic and contemporary art, using a venn diagram to find the differences. Then, Ms. Fernie opened the question up to us: “Is classic or contemporary art more important to you as an artist?”

My first thought was that that’s a hard question. Many of my favourite artists are contemporary, like Frida Kahlo, Claude Monet, Gustav Klimt, Van Gogh, and Jackson Pollock, but at the same time this infatuation with surrealist, impressionist, and abstract art hasn’t been around long. It was only after trying to expand my horizons in IB Art that I really got into the contemporary, and before that I was more into realism.

Now, I tend to mix the elements from classic art with elements from contemporary art. For instance, I’m a nut for realistic anatomy. Katsushika Hokusai, an ancient mangaka is also a great influence for me, although he’s on the verge of being contemporary.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that there are elements of both classic and contemporary art that shine through in my work. Realistic people, portraits, and anatomy are in sync with the classic movement, but abstract backgrounds with a variety of mixed media go along with the contemporary movement. Both are important to me, and I hope that shines through in my artwork.

What about you? What do you think?

Update! Flowers, Acrylics, and Ink

Finished Beauty is Abstract!

I’ve finished Beauty is Abstract completely by adding flowers. Glad to be done! Now that I’ve got that off my shoulders I can start on some new projects!IMG_2049









Also, I’ve finished my digital art piece.

I started working with ink in my sketch book. I plan to do a piece in ink over the winter break, because I own india ink and a calligraphy set. I’m not sure what the piece will be exactly, but I’ll begin studying artists and art movements this week so I’ll be able to start working over the break. Here’s what I did over the weekend.





Finally, after months of work on Beauty is Abstract and weeks of fooling around with my self portrait I’m finally done.

Okay, not actually done. I still need to add the flowers and put my self portrait on a canvas, but all of that won’t take too long. Before now it seemed like the finish line was all the way over the horizon and now that I’m here it seems weird that I can see it right ahead of me.

Next I need to start thinking about what I’m going to do with ink as my next project, but I didn’t think that would be for a while.

Only three more projects to do after I finish these!


An albeit slightly blurry photograph of what Beauty is Abstract looks like now. I cleaned up the edges around the body and added the leg hair. I think I’m going to leave the hairline as it is. Wouldn’t want to mess anything up. If you look in the bottom right corner (near the lips) you can see my signature too. I might paint over it and redo it though

Self Portrait last

The digital art piece of my unnamed painting. Any name suggestions?

Digital Art and Self Confidence


This is my progress so far on working with digital art.

It was so frustrating at first. I didn’t know how to use the brushes and any of the tools on the side bar of Photoshop, but I’ve come a long way since then. While at first it was so difficult that I was regretting choosing it as a medium, now I love it so much that I find it’s difficult to do anything else. The clean up is definitely easier than traditional art.

I’m thinking of doing a self portrait, working off the theme of self-expression. Ms. Fernie suggested I make it a multimedia piece, and I think that’s a good idea. Around the portrait I’ll have an abstract expressionist collage like in Beauty is Abstract. The collage will be about the beauty industry and the stigma our society holds against self love, something that I’ve struggled with for a long time as a young adult, seeing all the women around me constantly diminishing themselves.

I remember seeing a Clean and Clear commercial on Youtube recently about being confident in your own skin. The girls in the commercials always talk about how they were bullied for their acne in school, but this product helped them become confident.

So we’re taught that the only way we can gain confidence is if we look good to others. We must be acceptable looking enough that people won’t be nasty to us, as if it’s our responsibility to look good for someone who will abuse us otherwise. It has never seemed right to me.

But what I’ve found with shaving my hair and not shaving my legs, is that the only way to be truly be confident is by being fearless in showing your true self, despite any messages telling you otherwise, despite the fact that people might not understand why you do it. You think before hand that it will be terrible if anyone sees this thing about yourself that you’ve been trying so hard to hide, but in reality nobody cares.

So anyway, I hope this piece turns out well and I finish it soon, because Beauty is Abstract is still lying around unfinished and the days are ticking by before exams. I haven’t finished a piece since summer, and the time before exams and now is becoming more and more comprehensible.

Crossing my fingers that I’ll be able to finish in time.

Ai Wei Wei and Art as Social Change

Last week our IB Art class watched some videos about Ai Wei Wei. Recently after making a mass order of Lego pieces for his new piece, the contemporary artist was denied access to the materials by Lego. According to the company, they avoid “actively engaging in or endorsing the use of Lego bricks in projects or contexts of a political agenda.” Ai Wei Wei, who is possibly the most controversial contemporary artist in the world today, certainly fits into this restriction.

Nevertheless, Wei Wei is not giving up on his project. Instead, he’s now accepting donation of Lego bricks from all over the world. Just because a major corporation told him, “no”, it doesn’t mean he’s going to stop, because according to Wei Wei it is an artist’s duty to show their feelings through his work.

In my opinion, showing your feelings through artwork is what it’s all about. Whether those feelings are controversial, emotional, thought provoking, or anything else, art is there for you to express what you would otherwise keep inside. For me, that is what my entire exhibition is about, sharing my feelings through art, especially ones that I don’t share in any other way. Art is a medium that is there for you to display your thoughts to the world.

But sometimes displaying those thoughts are hard. Take Ai Wei Wei for example, who has been incarcerated for opposing the government through his artwork. Another artist like this is Honore Daumier, the “Michelangelo of caricatures”. He published a caricature of the king of France, Louis Phillippe, and portrayed him as a giant named Gargantua. Because of this social commentary, Daumier was imprisoned for six months.


Gargantua by Honore Daumier, 1831

The moral of this story? Even if you know that your thoughts will cause controversy, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t speak your mind. As an artist, you can’t be afraid of criticism or punishment. Art has the power to change the world, but you have to let it.